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Meg Ryan Explains Why She's 'Proud' of New Movie After 'Really Long' Break from Acting: 'It Was Fun'

"I set up everything beforehand so that once we were there, it was just David [Duchovny] and I trying to tell the truth," she said

Despite a lengthy break from film, Meg Ryan is still rom-com royalty.

The actress spoke with Carol Burnett for Interview magazine, touching on how she was "proud" of her work in the upcoming romantic comedy What Happens Later, which she directed, co-wrote and stars in. She stars alongside David Duchovny.

"Truly, the easiest part was acting in it. I want to direct again just so I can sit in the chair, because I’m sure there’s a lot of things I missed. I hadn’t done a role in a really long time, but it was fun with David," said Ryan, 61. "A lot of it was done in two shots. I’m proud of that."

She added, "I set up everything beforehand so that once we were there, it was just David and I trying to tell the truth."

Bleecker Street recently debuted the first trailer for What Happens Later, in which Ryan and Duchovny, 63, star as a former couple who unexpectedly reunite after decades apart when a snowstorm strands them at the airport. The film is based on Steven Dietz's play Shooting Star.

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<p>Bleecker Street</p> Meg Ryan and David Duchovny in <em>What Happens Later</em> (2023)

Bleecker Street

Meg Ryan and David Duchovny in What Happens Later (2023)

Related: Meg Ryan's Life and Career in Photos

Ryan — whose last film role was in 2015's Ithaca, which was also her directorial debut — told Burnett, 90, that she and Duchovny had "only met a couple of times, maybe 20 years ago" before they teamed up for What Happens Later.

"But I remembered, more than all of his other amazing work like The X-Files and Californication, him on The Larry Sanders Show. He played himself as a guest and he was so absurd and funny," she said, adding of Duchovny, "He’s really smart and he’s such a unique kind of funny that we all thought he would be so perfect for Bill."

She also shared that the movie was filmed "over the course of 21 nights" in Arkansas. Burnett complimented the movie, telling Ryan, "I think you did a great job. The chemistry between you and David was absolute magic."

<p>Bleecker Street</p> David Duchovny and Meg Ryan in <em>What Happens Later</em> (2023)

Bleecker Street

David Duchovny and Meg Ryan in What Happens Later (2023)

Related: Why We Need Romantic Comedies More Than Ever at This Moment

Ryan, known for rom-coms like When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail, told Entertainment Weekly that films of the genre "really work when the two characters are somehow opposites and yet have a rhythm of intellect and humor and dialogue and banter that sort of indicates their compatibility."

"It's just been really fun to see David embrace this guy who I don't think is anything really like David. Whereas the Willa thing I can really relate to," she added in the EW interview. "To see him dive into every single scene in the fullest way, he's funny, and he's smart, and he's dear, and irresistible."

What Happens Later is in theaters Oct. 13.

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